How to Do Direct Mail Part 3: The Letter


You’ve got your list assembled, and you know what you’re going to offer them.

Now what?

Now you write the letter.

Don’t worry. This won’t be too bad, even if you’re not a writer – even if you hate writing.

This is going to be the start of your first sentence:

“I’m writing to you today to… “

Tell them why you’re writing to them. Do you have a great offer for them? Tell them. Don’t waste time. Come out with it. Why are you writing to them?

Now, spend a few sentences telling them why they should care. Why is your sale worth their time? Is it a once-a-year sale? A going-out-of-business sale?

Are you giving them free access to your newsletter? Why are they going to want to read it?

If you can’t come up with reasons for them to care, you should go back to the drawing board and find a new offer.

So. You’ve told them why you’re writing. You’ve told them what’s in it for them.

Now tell them what you want from them.

Do you want them to stop into your store? Give you a call? Sign up on your website? Whatever it is, tell them clearly what you want them to do:

“Don’t wait! Call me today at (xxx) xxx-xxxx)”

“Mark your calendar. Come to our store on Saturday, March X for huge savings on… “

“Visit us online at ww.widget.whatever and sign up for our newsletter today.”

Whatever you want them to do, lay out as clearly and specifically as you can the steps they should follow.

Don’t say “Call me for an appointment.”

Instead say: “Call me at (XXX) XXX-XXXX today to schedule a free consultation.”

The last thing you want is your reader trying to figure out how to do what it is you want them to do. If they’re supposed to call you, make sure you give them the number they should use, right there in the letter.

If you want them to stop by your office or store, give them the address, (and any helpful landmarks that might help them more easily locate you.)

Now thank them for their time, and end your letter.

There’s only one step left:

The P.S.

“Do I have to have a P.S.?”

Yes, your letter needs a P.S. Why?

Research has shown that many people read the P.S. of a letter first, to see if it’s worth their time. Research has also shown that some people only read the P.S. If you don’t have one, you’re not going to reach them.

So what do you put in the P.S.?

You repeat your offer.

“P.S. Find out how much money I can save you! Call me today for your free consultation! (XXX) XXX-XXXX.”

That’s pretty much it. You’ve now got all the essential parts of your letter written.

Don’t worry about it being too long or too short. Your letter should be as long as it needs to be. Do not cut pieces just to fit it on a single page!

One last thing:

Make sure to have your contact information easily visible on the letter!

Believe it or not, I’ve seen mailings that encouraged customers to come to a store, without ever giving the address! I’ve seen letters go out that say “Call me today!” and then forget to include the phone number…

What a waste.

Don’t be like that. Make it a habit to have your contact info on every communication you send to your customers.